Anthropology in the Age of Technology: The Philosophical Contributions of GŁnther Anders

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Rodopi, 2000 - Philosophy - 193 pages
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This book is the first to discuss, for an English-speaking audience, the ideas of the German-Jewish man of letters, thinker, and activist GŁnther Anders. Anders is one of few philosophers to deal intensely with the moral consequences of Auschwitz and Hiroshima. He can rightly be called the philosopher of the atomic age, and his thinking a philosophy of modern technology.In biting manifestoes, sharp aphorisms, and penetrating essays, in stirring diary notes and political fables, Anders strikes out the age in which we live. As a twentieth-century visionary, he exposes the absence of the moral and social imaginations that is necessary to prevent our history from ending in a total catastrophe. In the gap between our technical creations and our utter inability to imagine their destructive potential lies the basis for the unstoppable activity of this practical philosopher. From every possible angle, he attempts to comprehend this modern schizophrenia in its roots and consequences. Anders is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. He tried to describe and analyze the variety of manifestations of the “self-destructive progress of our technical civilization,” which makes humanity into an “anti-quated” sort. He diagnosed countless important problems, ranging from the world of media to the dictates of the world of machinery, and he investigated their social, political, and philosophical meaning.To read his writings is more than becoming acquainted with a rich and colorful philosopher. It is more than an encounter with a moving and passionate individual. It is ultimately a confrontation with oneself, with our own guilt and responsibility, with our personal hopes and fears, with our lack of imagination and with our need to recover it.
 

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Contents

One Introduction
1
Two Portrait of GOnther Anders
5
Via Paris to America
9
Return to Europe
13
Visit to Hiroshima
15
Final Years
17
7 Recognition
22
Books
24
Lack of Imagination as a Modern Form of Unscrupulousness
64
7 Labor in an Industrial System
66
A A Critical Commentary
75
B Summary
76
Increasing Objective Responsibility and the Lagging Sense of Responsibility
77
Anders as Moralist
79
Anders as Aesthete and Lyricist
82
Molussia
87

Three The Core Thinking of Anders
27
Outlines of a Negative Anthropology
29
Humanity and Its Artifacts
36
A Phenomenology of TelevisionWatching
45
Philosophy of History under Nuclear Threat
52
A What Is the Bomb Really?
53
B Philosophy of History under Nuclear Threat
54
Blindness to the Apocalypse
57
Correspondence with the Hiroshima Pilot
61
Music Theory
90
Four The Relation of Anders to Academic Philosophy
93
Five Anderss Philosophy of Technology in Relation to That
105
Six Anders and the Technology Debate
141
Seven Evaluation and Closing Remarks
155
Chronology
165
About the author
179
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Until his retirement, Summer 1998, Dr. Paul van Dijk (born 1933) taught moral philosophy and philosophy of technology at the Twente University of Technology and Social Sciences, Enschede, the Netherlands. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, with a dissertation on the moral philosophy of the scientist and philosopher of technology, Cornelis J. Dippel. His research focuses on ethical, philosophical, and theological implications of natural sciences and technology. In that context, he became fascinated by the writings of the thinker and activist GŁnther Anders. Van Dijk has published three books and many essays in the fields of philosophy of peace and philosophy of technology.

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